Most renters don’t invest heavily in holiday décor — for a few reasons. Renters typically do not have much storage space to dedicate to seasonal items, and most renters are prohibited from making major decorative changes that could damage their landlord’s property. So, now that you have finally scraped together enough money for a down payment and moved into your very first home, you probably don’t have the decorations you want to make your new space feel festive for the holiday season.
Holiday decorations should be acquired over time, as you find new pieces to add to incorporate into your seasonal aesthetic. For this first Christmas in your home, you should stick to the decorative essentials, which include:
A Tree and Tree Accouterments
One of the most recognizable symbols of the season, the Christmas tree is the most critical component of your holiday décor. You need some sort of tree to serve as the centerpiece of the holidays in your home, where you will place presents, sing carols and generally gather to appreciate the meaning behind the holidays.
It is worth noting that just because you need a Christmas tree, you don’t necessarily need a Christmas tree. In other words, if your home does not have an appropriate space for a real (or faux) tree, you do not need to invest in one year after year. Instead, you might find a tree substitute that better fits your space and aesthetic. For example, you might hang ornaments from a large potted plant that already sits in your living room, or you might create an abstract tree out of lights, wood or fabric that you hang on your wall. As long as your tree provides you with the holiday spirit,
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Of course, the tree is not a standalone decoration. You will need quite a bit of holiday décor to make your tree look and feel festive. If you do invest in a real tree, you will need a tree stand and skirt to hold the trunk, provide water and nutrients and catch dead needles. All trees need some form of topper, lights and ornaments. Fortunately, these components of Christmas decorating are easy to change from year to year according to your personal preference.
A Decoration for Your Front Door
Your front door is one of the most important spaces for decorating because it serves as the boundary between the outside world and your home. Visitors will encounter your front door before they step into your home, so you need your door to be inviting and welcoming — and you need it to set your guests’ expectations for the rest of your holiday decorating aesthetic. The most classic door decoration is a holiday wreath, which you can find in all manner of styles to match your decorating preferences, but you might also consider oversized ornaments, signs with seasons’ greetings or even wrapping paper if you prefer a whimsical look.
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A Seasonal Table Centerpiece
Your dining table is a gathering place you’re your home. Especially during the winter holidays, many of the events you host will involve food and feasting, and people will congregate at and around your dining table. Thus, you will need decorations that give your dining table the Christmas spirit but that do not take up too much of the space needed for serving and eating.
Holiday centerpieces can be as large and elaborate — or as simple and small — as you need them to be. If your table is long and thin, you might make multiple centerpieces to ensure that everyone keeps Christmas in their sightlines, but if you have a round or square table, a single, large centerpiece will do. You might invest in a table runner to use year after year, but you can cycle through different centerpieces, like single statement pieces or collections of décor, to freshen up your table through the season. What’s more, there are many DIY centerpiece ideas, so you can keep your holiday decorating costs low.
Eventually, if you want to, you can cover every surface in your home with holiday décor, but for your first Christmas, you can give the most important spaces a powerfully festive feeling just by introducing seasonal textiles. Throw blankets and pillows with holiday images and scenes are easy to toss onto chairs, sofas and even the floor as a way of introducing a sumptuous and warm Christmas look with minimal effort and investment.
You want your first Christmas in your first home to be truly memorable, but you don’t want to blow your entire holiday budget on decorations. Fortunately, by prioritizing the most important décor, you can form a festive foundation that you can build upon in the many years to come.